Florida Cops Searching for Suspect Who Hung Antisemitic ’88’ Banner Outside Jewish Center
Police in Florida are searching for a suspect who was captured on CCTV while vandalizing a Jewish community center.
The police department in the city of Homestead, which lies in Miami-Dade County, on Thursday released photos of the suspect who hung an antisemitic banner on the fence outside the Homestead Jewish Center early last Saturday morning — the Jewish Sabbath.
The handwritten text on the banner declared “The Goyim Know” alongside the numerals “88” — code in neo-Nazi circles for the greeting “Heil Hitler.”
The police department added that the same suspect was wanted in connection with a burglary attempt on a store in Homestead in May this year, as well for the vandalizing of a local movie theater in August with the slogans “Gentrifiers Out” and “Eat the Rich.”
The use of the term “goyim” — a Yiddish and Hebrew pejorative for non-Jews that has been embraced by some white supremacists — suggested a possible link with a neo-Nazi group that has staged openly antisemitic demonstrations in several US cities.
In October, supporters of the so-called “Goyim Defense League” hung a banner at an overpass in Austin, Texas that declared “Vax the Jews” along with a link advertising the group’s website. In the same week, members of the group appeared in nearby San Antonio, where they wore T-shirts decorated with Nazi swastikas and unfurled a banner reading “Honk if you know the Holocaust is fake.”
The same group has been responsible for similar actions over the last year, including a banner displayed at an overpass in Los Angeles that stated, “The Jews Want a Race War.”
The group has also been active in Florida. During the war between Israel and Hamas earlier this year, supporters of the “Goyim Defense League” harassed the crowd attending a pro-Israel rally in Boca Raton on May 13, driving a van emblazoned with racist slogans including “Hitler Was Right” and “Vax the Jews” around the demonstrators.
The van — also scrawled with messages like “Holocaust never happened,” “White goy summer,” and “Rabbi’s rape kids” [sic] — slowly circled the pro-Israel rally. One of its passengers screamed antisemitic epithets and threats through a megaphone, including “Get out of our country Jew, you’re not white, you’re k*ke,” and “Jews lied, Germans died.”
Local Jewish groups condemned the vandalism of the Jewish Center in Homestead. In a joint statement, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said they were “appalled and outraged” by the banner’s brazen display.
“The Jewish community will not be intimidated by such blatant attempts to frighten us into hiding our identity,” Jacob Solomon, Greater Miami Jewish Federation President and CEO, said. “We have always been and will continue to be proudly and outwardly Jewish.”